On 20 October 2021, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) was amended to provide options for people experiencing domestic and family violence to leave a residency.
These changes, coupled with existing protections in the Act, support residents experiencing domestic and family violence to end a residency quickly, or if they choose, to remain in the rental property safely.
A person who experiences domestic and family violence in a rental premises has rights under the Act, even if they are not named on the rooming accommodation agreement.
What is domestic and family violence?
Under the Act, domestic violence has the meaning given by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.
Domestic and family violence occurs when one person in an intimate personal, family or informal carer relationship behaves towards the other person in the relationship in a way that is:
- physically or sexually abusive
- verbally abusive
- emotionally or psychologically abusive
- economically abusive
- in any other way controlling or dominating the second person and causes them to fear for their safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.
Domestic and family violence covers a wide range of behaviours (for further information refer to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 section 8), including damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so.
What can I do if I am experiencing domestic and family violence?
Every person has a right to feel safe and live free from violence.
If you have been harmed, involved in a violent incident or are in imminent danger, phone 000
(triple zero) for emergency assistance.
If you are experiencing domestic and family violence, a domestic violence order (DVO) may be able to help keep you safe. A DVO is a protection order made by the court to stop threats or acts of domestic and family violence against you and can be in the form of a protection order or a temporary protection order.
You can apply for a protection order at a Magistrates Court, or get a police officer, solicitor or someone else you authorise to apply for you.
For more information about protection orders, visit the Queensland Courts website courts.qld.gov.au, or contact DVConnect or other support services listed at the end of this fact sheet.
What can I do if I’m renting a premises and I believe I can no longer safely continue to occupy the premises because of domestic and family violence?
If you believe you can no longer safely continue to occupy the premises due to domestic and family violence, you can vacate immediately but must provide 7 days notice to end your interest in the rooming accommodation agreement.
You can end your interest in the rooming accommodation agreement by giving your manager/provider a Notice ending residency interest (domestic and family violence) (Form R20) supported by relevant evidence (listed on Part B of the form, such as a protection order or a Domestic and family violence report).
Note: You can choose to either give a copy of your supporting evidence to the manager/provider or allow them to read/inspect the evidence.
If there are any other residents for the same agreement, the agreement will continue on the same terms for them after your interest ends.
If you end your interest in a rooming accommodation agreement using a Notice ending residency interest, you:
- can vacate immediately, but must provide 7 days notice and pay rent until the end of the 7 day notice period
- are not responsible for costs associated with ending the agreement or interest, goods left behind at the premises or reletting costs
- are not required to repair or compensate the manager/provider for damage to the premises or inclusions caused by an act of domestic and family violence you have experienced
- are still responsible for other costs associated with breaching terms of an agreement (for example, rent arrears)
- can request your bond contribution be refunded by completing a Bond refund for persons experiencing domestic and family violence (Form 4a). Managers/providers can also request a rental bond refund for a resident’s bond contribution where a resident has vacated due to domestic and family violence by completing this form.
Where the manager/provider believes a notice and supporting evidence does not comply with the Act, they may apply to QCAT for an order to have the notice set aside. The property manager/owner must inform you whether they intend to apply to QCAT within 7 days of receiving the notice.
In making their decision, QCAT will only examine whether the notice and the supporting evidence you have provided meet the requirements of the Act. QCAT will not examine:
- whether you have experienced domestic violence; or
- your belief as to whether you could safely continue to occupy the premises.
Is the information I share with the manager/provider confidential?
After you give the manager/provider a Notice ending residency interest (domestic and family violence) (Form R20) supported by relevant evidence, the manager/provider:
- must not disclose the evidence supporting your Notice ending residency interest to anyone except in specific permitted circumstances outlined in the Act (section 308I or 381I). Penalties apply to anyone who does not follow these requirements.
- cannot require you to provide your forwarding address.
If there is more than one resident for the residency, the manager/provider:
- is required to inform you within 7 days of receiving the notice when any remaining residents will be informed that you have ended your interest in the residency
- must give each remaining resident a Continuing interest notice between 7 and 14 days after your interest in the residency ends (this is when your 7 day notice period expires AND you have vacated the premises)
- if the person remaining is the person who committed an act of domestic and family violence against you, they will also receive a Continuing interest notice.
- the Continuing interest notice will only inform remaining residents that:
- your interest in the agreement has ended
- the agreement continues on the same terms for the remaining residents
- if the remaining residents are required to top up the rental bond, the amount they are required to pay and the day by which the top up must be made.
Note: When you calculate dates for notices, where the notice period is in days, weeks or months, you must not count the day the notice is given. If the time period allowed under the legislation for a party to do anything starts or ends on a weekend or public holiday, then the start or the end of the time period will be on the next business day.
Changing the locks
The Act gives you the right to request the manager/provider to change or repair a lock that secures entry to your room if you reasonably believe that there is the likelihood of risk to your safety, or theft of or damage to your belongings,
If your request states that it is made for the purpose of protecting you from domestic and family violence, the manager/provider must change or repair the lock and must not give a key for the changed lock to any other person without your agreement or a reasonable excuse.
Penalties apply to managers/providers who do not comply with this section of the Act.
Where can I get more help or information?
Everyone deserves to feel safe at home – domestic and family violence is never acceptable.
Related resources: Help and support is available for Queenslanders affected by domestic and family violence.
000 / triple zero (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Call for police, ambulance or fire services if you are in imminent danger, have been harmed or involved in a violent incident.
|Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS) Aboriginal Corporation
||1800 88 77 00
|Aboriginal & Torres Strait (ATSI) Women's Legal & Advocacy Service
||07 3720 9089
||1800 811 811 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Assists women and their children obtain safe refuge accommodation, counselling and referral to other support services
||1800 600 636 (9am to 12 midnight, 7 days
Provides counselling, information and referral to men affected by domestic and family violence. Assists men experiencing domestic and family violence and men looking for help to stop their abusive behaviour
|Legal Aid Queensland
||1300 651 188
|Women's Legal Service
||07 3392 0670 or areas outside Brisbane 1800 677 278
|Immigrant Women's Support Service
||07 3846 3490
|Brisbane Domestic Violence Service
||07 3217 2544
|Disability Support Services
||Contact your local service centre or call
13 QGOV (13 74 68)
|Elder Abuse Prevention Unit
||1300 651 192 (9am to 5pm, Monday
Provides information and support to older people who experience elder abuse
||1300 744 263
Department of Justice and Attorney-General
|13 74 68
||1800 737 732 (24 hours a day, 7 days
National service providing crisis and trauma counselling to people affected by domestic, family and sexual violence
||13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
National service providing access to crisis support and suicide prevention services
||131 444 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Can be used to report crimes or if you feel threatened or in danger
For more information contact the Residential Tenancies Authority.
Accessing RTA Forms
The RTA's forms can be obtained electronically or in person by contacting us.
If you need interpreting assistance to help you understand this information, contact TIS on 13 14 50 (for the cost of a local call) and ask to speak to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).